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Thread: Anyone Else Sick of the Overuse of Terms Like "Geek Chic" or "Nerd Culture"?

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior Night Stalker's Avatar
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    Anyone Else Sick of the Overuse of Terms Like "Geek Chic" or "Nerd Culture"?

    Pardon my "old man yells at clouds" post, but I'm getting kinda tired of the exploitative use of words like "geek" and "nerd" to describe everyday hobbies like comics, games, action figures and related collecting. Yeah, I know it's meant to be an "empowering" thing where once we were bullied, but now we have turned the tables on our oppressors and wear their slurs as badges of honor or whatever, but it just seems kind of hackneyed at this point.

    I guess it's because I never saw myself as a nerd, for one. I knew nerds in school. For the most part, they were into the same stuff everyone else was into. The quote/unquote "cool kids" were playing videogames and holding Magic card tournaments like the nerds did.

    I certainly never saw myself as a geek, which was an insult when I was growing up. It was not synonymous with "nerd." A geek was the mentally disabled person at the circus who bit heads off of chickens for nickles.

    In the early 2000s I noticed a mass of corporate marketing using those terms, usually attached to some disposable, overpriced pop culture curio that served no purpose other than to separate one from his hard earned cash. "Hey nerds, here's a bunch of generic superdeformed vinyl dolls that we gave a minimal amount of unique decoration to: Funko Pops! It's useless garbage, but we know you'll buy it because it has the logo of your favorite franchise slapped on the box! Collect 'em all!"

    Then you started seeing it slapped on similarly generic bottom barrel television programming. "The Big Bang Theory® is a geek chic© dream! They talk about Star Trek and DC Comics! You nerds will love it! The geek shall inherit the earth™! Live long and beam us into your living room every Wednesday night! Also, be sure to check out the Funko Pop® series of Big Bang Theory© characters! Sheldon™ comes in two different variants!"

    Today I read of a line of MOTU-styled Tiki cups produced by a company named Geeky Tikis or something. The whole thing just struck me as lame. It's like someone sat down and said:

    "We should make a company that licenses franchises and slaps their IPs all over useless, overpriced junk that fans pay insane markup for. Should we go for the NFL and sports branding?"

    "No, viewership is down. What about this 'geek culture' I read about in the Wall Street Journal?"

    "Brilliant. What can we manufacture that costs little to produce but can be marked up high and seems to be trendy among millennials this week?"

    "Tiki cups. They're kinda what Hawaiian shirts were in the eighties: kitschy, but somewhat functional crap that reminds people of sunny beaches."

    "Brilliant. 'Tiki cups for geeky chumps.' Or... 'Geeky Tikis'..."

    "Brilliant! I think we have a winner! I'll get on the web and create a kickstarter campaign. Greyson, you're a genius!"
    Maybe I'm just jaded, but I'm tired of everything I love being branded as "geek culture" and then exploited financially and to the death like the lone milkcow on a desert farm.
    Most wanted Origins figures: Mighty Spector, Fisto's Cousin's Babysitter, and Mer-Man's Seventh Grade Crush.

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    The more I think about it the more I just realize everything has been marketed towards us either to make us feel empowered, to make us think we are better than someone who isn't being marketed to (in that case) (angry at them), even things that are tar swamp related (not that other things) are marketed towards us.
    Last edited by wyldman11; February 4, 2021 at 07:27pm.
    One Gum Drop to rule them all, One Gum Drop to find them,
    One Gum Drop to bring them all and in the sweetness bind them
    In the Land of Candy where the Gingerbreads lie.
    -Tag line for the Candy Land Movie Adaptation

    There are sentences I should just stay a way from. - The Doctor

    Rob Liefeld isn't a comic artist, he's a women's clothing designer. Think about it

  3. #3
    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    Settle down Boomer!

    Seriously though the only people that use these types of terms are younger kids and people who absolutely aren't actual nerds or geeks.

    For some reason throughout history mankind has always loved slapping labels on different types of people. For the life of me now that I've become a boomer/old man, can't figure out why we haven't evolved beyond that.

    He's a nerd.
    He's a jock.
    He's a redneck.
    He's a thug.

    It's like these are labels someone can use so that others can go "Ohhh ok, I now know what kind of person he is". Labels equal judgment without knowledge IMO.

    It's really kind of dumb when you think about it.
    "To a great mind, nothing is little."

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior Granamyr's Helmet's Avatar
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    I'm Gen X which is the forgotten label of a forgotten generation

    I have no qualms being called a nerd...at one time I did in fact rock the calculator watch in the 80's.

  5. #5
    Master of Physics VZX's Avatar
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    Good topic.

    That is the reason why I never watched The Big Bang Theory. Everyone I know said it was a funny show and that I should watch it since I have a career in physics and I love Star Trek and other "geeky" things. I felt like the show made fun of people like me (or even made fun of people on the spectrum, which is not cool). It's like we are just archetypes in a story, sort of like the characters from The Breakfast Club. Now, while it is sort-of true that a lot of people that are into a certain thing have a checklist of stereotypes, it is not always the case. Red necks love NASCAR, hunting, and country music. Broadway fans love fashion, wine, and art. And I guess scientists, especially in the physical sciences like me, are into sci-fi, comics, and other related themes. It's funny that most of the scientists I know are actually NOT into geeky things, especially the older ones.

    Anyway, I also am not a fan and being targeted with Pop Vinyls and the like. I have received them as gifts, but they really do not appeal to me. Or those Tiki mugs. I love action figures, but am very picky.

    I guess people buy them! So what do I know? But I am tired of the "geek chic" concept. Stop trying to make it cool! I'm ok with it not being cool to be a nerd. I still am what I am! And I am cool with that.
    "Everything comes to he who waits."

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior Durendal's Avatar
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    I love that geek culture has gained mainstream acceptance in the past decade.

  7. #7
    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Durendal View Post
    I love that geek culture has gained mainstream acceptance in the past decade.
    I'm also a fan. I think we're really starting to break down the walls of what older people think a "man" or "woman" should or shouldn't be. It was a ridiculous standard meant to keep people running life like a rat race in my opinion. People should be free to enjoy whatever they like without being ridiculed because someone else doesn't like it (or they're just a boring person).


    I've talked about it in older threads but I started a Geek Club in high school. We were pretty cool for geeks but we were geeks and nerds for sure by definition.
    "To a great mind, nothing is little."

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Night Stalker's Avatar
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    I agree and am glad that comic books, action figures, etc have become mainstream. I guess my gripe is more that by giving it a name like "geek" or "nerd" in this modern day setting is anachronistic when people who are decidedly not traditionally defined nerds are just as into it.

    For instance, I know more people that are into videogames than I do who are into football. Yet videogames are a "nerd" hobby but football is a manly, 'Merkan passion. (Real men don't have "hobbies" according to those who make the rules. They have passions and pastimes.) And of all the people who play videogames, I would only call a small percentage of them "geeks." Like, why aren't we calling the guys who fix up old Camaros "classic car nerds" or "Chevy poindexters" or something.

    It just seems like a self-depreciating label that doesn't even apply to the vast majority of people who are into these things. Similar to what Dice was saying, it feels like it's a societal method of keeping people with imagination, people who question the social construct and the artificial standards forced upon us, down in a hole. 'Be a man, stop thinking. Pick up this wrench and chug a Budweiser, hoss. You don't wanna be like them Star Trek guys, do ya? Nah, hell. You wanna watch Dallas stomp a mudhole in them commie Raiders, doncha?"
    Most wanted Origins figures: Mighty Spector, Fisto's Cousin's Babysitter, and Mer-Man's Seventh Grade Crush.

  9. #9
    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night Stalker View Post
    It just seems like a self-depreciating label that doesn't even apply to the vast majority of people who are into these things. Similar to what Dice was saying, it feels like it's a societal method of keeping people with imagination, people who question the social construct and the artificial standards forced upon us, down in a hole. 'Be a man, stop thinking. Pick up this wrench and chug a Budweiser, hoss. You don't wanna be like them Star Trek guys, do ya? Nah, hell. You wanna watch Dallas stomp a mudhole in them commie Raiders, doncha?"
    I'm right here with ya. I wore a Super Mario shirt last night to my bowling league. I'll have on nice slacks and a polo when I play golf tomorrow. I may wear a decepticon shirt to the gym Sunday. We'll watch the superbowl and if it comes in this week I'll sit and put together my Mega Construx Battle Ram. Every night of this weekend I'll go to bed reading my current Sherlock Holmes novel.

    What label suits me? I like/watch/play sports and am all about my lawn, garden, and my mower. 80% of the t-shirts I wear are video game, comic book, or 80's toys related.


    Labels IMO are just dumb. No one really fits into a label unless it's in the eyes of some ignorant judgemental sheep.
    "To a great mind, nothing is little."

  10. #10
    Master of New Adventures!
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    I try not to pay attention to pop culture and what's trending. But look, here I am doing just that...

  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night Stalker View Post
    I agree and am glad that comic books, action figures, etc have become mainstream. I guess my gripe is more that by giving it a name like "geek" or "nerd" in this modern day setting is anachronistic when people who are decidedly not traditionally defined nerds are just as into it.

    For instance, I know more people that are into videogames than I do who are into football. Yet videogames are a "nerd" hobby but football is a manly, 'Merkan passion. (Real men don't have "hobbies" according to those who make the rules. They have passions and pastimes.) And of all the people who play videogames, I would only call a small percentage of them "geeks." Like, why aren't we calling the guys who fix up old Camaros "classic car nerds" or "Chevy poindexters" or something.

    It just seems like a self-depreciating label that doesn't even apply to the vast majority of people who are into these things. Similar to what Dice was saying, it feels like it's a societal method of keeping people with imagination, people who question the social construct and the artificial standards forced upon us, down in a hole. 'Be a man, stop thinking. Pick up this wrench and chug a Budweiser, hoss. You don't wanna be like them Star Trek guys, do ya? Nah, hell. You wanna watch Dallas stomp a mudhole in them commie Raiders, doncha?"
    There is an interesting thing that happens when you look at historically what certain nations are called etc. Most of the time if the name originates from what they call themselves it literally just means 'the people,' if the name comes from another group it's a description of them based on often a stereotype. This is often played with in Sci-fi stories where we call ourselves human, yet other alien species call us earthlings.
    One Gum Drop to rule them all, One Gum Drop to find them,
    One Gum Drop to bring them all and in the sweetness bind them
    In the Land of Candy where the Gingerbreads lie.
    -Tag line for the Candy Land Movie Adaptation

    There are sentences I should just stay a way from. - The Doctor

    Rob Liefeld isn't a comic artist, he's a women's clothing designer. Think about it

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